Friday, December 31, 2010

jardin majorelle

It was the color blue that wouldn’t let you go, matte and vivid, a cobalt to combat any other cobalt; this blue was going to win no matter what.  And it won my eyes like sudden sun, constricting them in depths and curiosity.  Majorelle must’ve been a lover without abandon to paint such intense blue on his home.  He would have been someone I’d like to have been friends with.  I believe it was a natural dye from the earth, as synthetic as it appeared, it enveloped you while throwing you, electric and chalky and absolutely uniform, it expanded while standing still.  The shutters were yellow and the foreground palms whispered the sweetness of afternoon teas.  Around each bend were huge pots of the same color blue or sulphur yellow and tucked into those pots were needle ferns and soft tickly arms that looked like feather dusters, and they'd perch at the ends of trellised alleys of figs and jasmine.  There were racquets of philodendron, cacti and palm, carpets of succulents and aquatic varietals, and swarms of plants from four continents.  Rockets of bamboo- huge forests of ankle thick bamboo- went shooting to the sky.  Idiots and lovers carved their initials into them and I thought of the Romans defacing Egyptian pyramids in their own vanity in their own time.  Magnolias kept everything familiar, repeating themselves throughout the garden, while a long narrow wading pool stretched from the entrance to Majorelle’s striking and unmistakable home.  The army of greenery was an impressive troop to be seen, but they were no match to the punch of Majorelle's blue.

When someone you love loves you deeply and you have the permission to love them deeply, that is when your life starts meaning something.  I got the impression that Majorelle was as intense a lover as he was a painter and how he put meaning to his life by giving himself the permission to express his love.  I daydream of taking a nap in his home, and waking up as his patient and spoiled lover:  I turn over and look out the window- not a sight of blue inside, as I'm not threatened or helped from the sight of it or the absence of it.  I am living in its gentle ferocity, in life's greatest force of give and take.  In love.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

american bandages

I took my 2 bags and entered another century.  They placed me in chambre Pastoukhoff.  The gentleman who helped me with my bags told me Pastoukhoff was a Russian painter who stayed in that room for several years and paid for his board with paintings, of which more than 80 are still in the hotel.  The one above the bed was a certain lady in a white pant suit with one foot on her chair pointing her knee to the ceiling- in the aerial space she’d rather be, so sure of herself with a dangling cigarette between her painted nails as if that useless cigarette was as useless as everyone she knew.  Each time we spoke, she reminded me of George Sand in her assuredness and ease.  Her gaze was arrogant, she was thin and rich and she belonged in that room in the Lancaster Hotel.  She belongs there for another century to come, to be sure future guests are reminded of their fortune to be in her presence.

I take it she was also Russian; her beach colored hair and complexion married the neutral walls and her red vertical nails walked down the headboard.  The chandelier caught her eye and mimicked her accordion blonde curls.  I thought how fortunate she was to be in such comfort, always in such comfort.  Her cheeks poked the curtains.  She blushed in the sun- from her sensitive skin, certainly not sensitive emotions.  We got along well enough for the short time I was there; she cursed a little but she never used the bathroom and left me full reign of the marble room to take long luxurious baths without interruption.  

It was a time of surprises I'll cherish long past this winter. 

I wasn't supposed to be in a hotel- I was supposed to spend my 3rd week in Paris in another apartment in the Marais, but the keys were never returned by the previous tenant.  As I waited in a corner café for the owner of the apartment to call me back, I sat with H's chauffer, sharing stories.  Out of the blue, H arranged for me to stay in a hotel as an alternative.  His driver was to take me there.  I was in shock, somewhat embarrassed- because I can take care of myself- yet melted that someone would be so kind, so generous, stepping in to my situation to offer to help.  My eyes filled.  I didn't know what to say, feeling sort of stupid, sort of lucky and unlucky, sort of lost and found.  I’d been keeping composure of nowhere to go.  Yes, yes, I love surprises, love adventure, but wasn’t expecting this one.  I surrendered, filled with gratitude.

I thought of the rarity of this experience.  Thinking how that morning I woke up, packed my bags to move from one sweet apartment to another- certain to spend the week there.  But that never happened.  A bad surprise turned to a good surprise; as in love and the course of my heart.  I was well on my way to healing my hurts, and in hours of conversations I was convinced that yes, I deserve to receive.  To experience what one beautiful soul can do for another, in such thoughtfulness and kindness, to witness such generosity, I am reminded that good things really do happen to good people.  I will never in my life forget this moment.  Nor the course of surprises that ensued.

Two days later H invited me to Casablanca and on the airplane he told me his story of his dislocated shoulder- and how they put an American bandage on it.  I laughed and said that would be a good name for a movie.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

i took the moon

A poem inspired by a lunar eclipse of October, 2004:

You wax, you wane
Like a mother’s pain
In darkest purple shadow
A symphony of silence
In thousand years distance
Further, a doubt explodes

Past the length
The light of day
Softly bends the archer’s bow
Almost reluctant
So sweeps the face
As millions of years ago

And all the while
Of timing oceans
The tide of blood to flow
The mastery of gravity
Floods the flesh
In colors of time below

Blush orange doubts
Still raise their hand
To cover your obvious glow
Moving minutes
In obedient speed
Striking the dark to know

And today, December 11, 2010, I share a photo I took of the crescent moon.  

Paris is more beautiful at night, especially these white sky days.  The word for crescent in French is croissant - yes those flaky bundles of perfection.  I don't know why it makes me chuckle to call the moon a croissant- it seems like an insult and I imagine this puffy warm moon that will go stale in a day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

love in the first degree

Love in the First Degree…

Extinguished in a flash. 
Fried and out like a knowing
A knowing of trouble
Enjoying your heart, your sweets
The bitters the deeps
And the wanderings the keeps
Look at you
Sprained back to the beginning
Like it could ever be that again
Echoed in your silence your Sweden
Your cheats and treats
Your freeless freaks
Your freedom peaks
And piques
Until you reach
And the sun you always thought was standing there
Tells you slowly
And slowly
That it was never yours to reach

And the invitations you had from long ago
All week or two ago
That you said yes to
Yes yes yes

Don’t you know you are your mother?
Don’t you know?
And your father told her she was
Don’t you know?
Don’t you?
That is you.

I wanted to know I could forget.  Forgive.  Not think of it.
I wanted to know.
And Bjork kept me company.

I think I’ll go to Iceland and wear some thick pantyhose
And just manage
Not be nice
Not be mean
But meet in the middle of who I am, and what others expect, and what I can easily give

Who did I find on the salad line?  Who was he?  A block.  Someone who was standing there before me, glaring a smile to me on my 40th birthday.  He didn’t know.  He didn’t know that’s what I was doing there.  That I was looking to improve my being.  In love.  In life.  But mostly in opening my heart.  That was the class I took.  Then life coaching.  Why I wasn’t at my goals of 1) being published 2) with a love, and thereby family.  Why I wasn’t there? 

I sit here writing listening to Cake singing I Will Survive.  I wish I could believe those words.  I was told to cover myself.  To play the ignorer.  To make him wear out a hole on my doorstep.

You know what?  I mean it: just go away if you are not what I want in my life.  Just go away.  Now I know what it is to let go coldly.  To do it in emergency situations, where there is no time to linger in grief.  When you don’t have a year to cry like you did when you were 20, 30, but not now, dear, not now.  Don’t tell them you are married.  Don’t send them on their way.   Don’t smile insults and excuses, don’t shove.  Open your senses and hold yourself again, your selves born and unborn, and move yourself towards your beautiful dreams.  Tuck yourself in the undressed world, keep yourself in love, and you will sway in moments of past and pressed, reaching in stores of your right, your turn, your fortune, your tomorrows turned to now.  Reaching in your lyrics, floating memories, happenings of happiness regrets burns and slides beginners and lines.  Always sounding so rehearsed.  There is no soul that I could know better than my own, but I long to.  Want to.  And have the deepest desire to.

Its 2AM on Nov. 3.  I have nothing but nothing to do.  I have already decided that P lost me and in my defense I am losing him.  What sucks are all the things he never saw in me.  The idiot.  We are both idiots.  We are all idiots.  But I’m voting him more idiot than me.  So.  There we go.  I play diplomat and not say a word.  I do nothing.  I standby.  I act normal.  I slowly let this go.  I come to climax and fade.  I shear my thoughts of P.  In a little by little way.  Until I can completely let go.  Which shall be soon.

December 9, 2010
Well, I said I'd be sharing old stuff and new stuff on my visit to Paris.  That above is some of the old from a month ago.  A little airing of the emotion.

Today is the first sunny day in Paris for a week.  There's been a white mood in the snow and skies.  And this morning the snow muffins melted from my neighbor's glass tiled roof.  I'll be on my way to return an itchy sweater then take a long needed sunny stroll.  I'll meet my cousin for dinner tonight- I haven't seen her in over 10 years.  I finally put myself on facebook last night and the whole thing is time consuming, really, including the ability to chat- which should really be done orally, no?

I had a beautiful night with Faridj, Saphir and Valerie- at my apartment in the Marais.  Faridj and Saphir came over with all kinds of ingredients including a pineapple.  Pineapples are such celebration.  The look of them will raise any spirit.  We made a dinner out of nothing- it was divine, and we ceased at 5 in the morning.  This apartment has a candelabra like my old apartment in Montmartre- I feel so at home here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

swallowing swords


I came to Paris to heal.  I recently lost my heart to someone I fell madly, deeply for.  I hadn't opened my heart to anyone since my previous boyfriend, which ended last winter.  And as if some psychic sense had come over me, I thought this person was "the one".  It's strange I let my heart run me in such directions that I get lost.   Physically, I'm an excellent driver, metaphorically I'm Mr. Magoo.  (of which Wikipedia quotes he "gets into a series of sticky situations as a result of his nearsightedness, compounded by his stubborn refusal to admit the problem.")  Yes, that's how I've been driving my heart.

So by confronting my pained heart, admitting how I arrived at such unrest, and being willing to adapt to new ways of handling SUCH emotion, (because I cannot suppress it), I remain open to change.  I took a hard fall here, and I do feel bruised.  If I don't want my emotions to rule my life and I desire to gain more control of my well-being, I must change my patterns.  Easier said than done.

Let's look at it without detail.  I was not attracted to him at first sight.  This is common for me.  On our second meeting, I warmed up, and in subsequent days everything seemed even.  As I met him in California on a 2 week stay at Esalen Institute, my return back to NY felt normal and I was completely in control of my heart.  Then suddenly something happened.  I missed him.  I found myself standing in the dark of my kitchen at late night thinking of him.  And I said "oh no".  I made the decision to see him again to see if this is a person I should know better.  I had to get myself back to Easlen, not because of the magic of the grounds or its sacredness, but because of the magic and sacredness I saw in this person.  I'll always remember our time.  It was beautiful, a landing, a safe place to fall, to fail, to bare, to give myself to, and meet myself in others all day long.  I saw truth.

But what I saw was not lasting truth.  It was momentary truth.  All that he told me and all we experienced was simply what he was feeling at that moment.  That is not who he is, it was simply who he represented himself to be in that moment.  I came along at a key time when he was finishing up his 4 or 5 month stint at Esalen- that alone should have raised a flag, the flag of recognizing he is a lost soul (and we all are lost to some extent) to place himself in purgatory for 5 months.  Esalen is not real.  It is a pocket of paradise that can turn your life to hell if you believe it to be real.  It is just so damn beautiful- there is no other place on earth like it.  But you can't stay forever- you just can't.  And perhaps the longer he spent there, the more detached from reality he'd become.  Or detached from responsibility.

In any case, after this delicious 2nd week with him, my return to NY was nothing like the first time- there was "no communication, no love".  He went to Sweden with an ex on a platonic venture and that's where he stopped communicating with me altogether.  I was crushed.  He literally fell off the map for 10 days.  My range of emotions was astounding.  Just re-telling this story from a month ago is making me ill.  So I stop here and continue to look at this objectively- later.  I did gain insight and it warrants bringing up the past- but in the future....

Synopsis: I give too much of myself away to others.

                                          white skies from the kitchen window

Since we are on sore subjects, and my dear friend Faridj brought over fois gras the other night, I wanted to share a 2 minute video on how fois gras is made.  I know you know, but do you really know?  It is not only torture but a diseased liver, from a diseased body, after all.  I haven't eaten fois gras since I ate it with "the lord" in Toulouse in 1999 and I vow to never eat it again.


But at least I'll part with some sweet photos of the past days...

                                the yummiest strangest cauliflower

Friday, December 3, 2010

souls day

12.3.10, Paris
If you want to know me, then know me.  It’s all I have.

The thing about dogs I find so humbling is how a dog will lower itself, meek and succumbing as it approaches and sits beneath a person or another dog.  The dog surrenders, head lowered, wagging in its steps.  It’s that uncertainty in its eyes, the lick of its chops, the sweetness of its innocence, the harmlessness that strikes me.  Because when I see that I see bravery.  I see the blinking and the hidden hesitation in its steps, but it moves forward nonetheless.  The dog is walking a plank of sorts; there could be misfortune on its arrival to the alpha, and you see it just giving in, giving up, even laying down.  That to me is a heroine or hero, just moving forward to the unknown.  And not only is it humbling to see how dogs approach but that they approach in the first place.  So humbling to see how dogs approach.  Can you imagine if we all approached each other like that?  Where you’d just go up to whomever and rub against them, sniff them, hang out with them for a while then move on.  In a way I think that’s what we do.

Souls Day, NY

Time is precious.  Truth is more precious than time.  That was my fortune paper, that was what it said years ago- apparently.  I found this little white paper with red lettering telling me just that- reminding me just that.  About truth and time.  And my mind went immediately to P, that I wanted truth.

I never really got lost in the whole time concept, the theory of no time- nor do I plan to get lost in it, but I want to explore it.  The idea of wearing jewels from centuries ago, wearing objects or using objects of so long ago- lifetimes before yours, you begin to feel the extension of lives and the entanglements we have in each others, you begin to feel a sense of timelessness.  We are fascinated by entertainment, entertained by fascination, and we keep building it and blocking it from each other.  The new building block: the block that blocks you from building.  From giving to each other.  And for now I am going to look into my blocks.

I tend to worry.  I might not look it, but I can be terribly insecure.  Maybe that is what puts me in such a tailspin when I am losing a possibility.  Whether it be possible love, or something else of value, the fear of losing it holds me by the balls.  I do things to make myself feel better: I put myself on vacation, I go, I enjoy, I feel the sun, I feel the drink, I feel my freedom, my life, my rarity.  And I go and celebrate myself.

I feel my life in a space of no time, where the century doesn't matter and my name doesn't matter as it is all temporary anyway.  The only thing that matters is love.

I took a few stones home from the Sanctuary at Omega Institute this past summer.  Love guards my window.  It filters New York.  It even filters me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

deep fried desires

On the day my father died a poem came pouring out of me.  When I shared it at his funeral – and I never read my stuff to anyone – a friend of my mother’s came to me and said I need to share my writing with others.  Those little words, at such a time, well they sat with me.  It’s been about 6 years and I’m ready.

It's Thanksgiving 2010, and what I aim to do here is to simply share my words, both old and new.  I plan to put them in some sort of order- these random thoughts.  It's a new nakedness, this sharing, but I'm spreading my thoughts as I'd be spreading butter or my legs or any of these other human things we do.  This, to me, is the epitome of vulnerability.  

Second helpings to myself:  This is the great round two.  The great educator of tomorrow.  And hopefully something to learn by regurgitating the past.  

There's no place for anyone but yourself and your ego- this is what you realize on some subconscious level.  And ego's not a bad word, it's just the autopilot, the kamikaze.  And I want to wrangle my ego in, look at it face to face, bulging eyeball to bulging eyeball, until our curves can compliment each other, know one is separate from the other, and what purpose the ego serves in my life.  Big lessons learned and you say your fine, with smiles.  And you remember:  Love doesn’t ever go so far away that you forget it’s there.  I slept right through this love, saving my half of heart.

My deep-fried desires, so unhealthy, so crunchy, so intense.  I try to avoid them, stave them off.  They might make me bulge like my ego's eye.

In the sleeping gardens
Wakes the paralyzed and the lost
To go nowhere
To do nothing
In the static of frost

Who shall lead the way
With not much to say
Past dormant violets
In their centered cross

I sometimes think of that guy in the supermarket a few years back, but I told him I was getting married, and it was the truth.  He seemed so nice, so worth knowing, genuine and soft.  Good looking with dark hair, tall and normal.  I think of him now as I was in my striped shirt then, younger, a little less confident, a little shier, but of The Knowledge.  I was relatively the same.

Then I move from the Los Gatos Safeway to a market on rue Clignancourt.  His look was like that of someone who caught the flu.  It seemed like love, the way he looked at me.  Embarrassed, I couldn’t return the sincerety, and I had to leave the store quickly.  If he was just a perv, looking, I wouldn’t have even remembered.  But this French one stands out.  His eyes hurt.

Oh.  I'd love to be looked at that way again.  And I will.  I have to believe I will.

Close-ups of Perfection

Inside of your smiley-faced grocery bags you’re carrying a war
A war you don’t understand
Labels you don’t understand
And when I say you
I mean me too

Versions of You

Egos floating heartlessly, soullessly,
transpiring through their cause.
A sunny hate
For those who love in the dark
Who give without pause.

Let’s hang them, the lonely ones
The lovely ones
Who give and give and give and give

The morning opens like a tulip, orange on the outside
Protecting the dark that is about to come
In the grace of secrets that are not really secrets
In the turn of what exists to what will become

I keep touching her by accident, this invisible fruit
The fleshy morning of promise went inside me
Like breathing clouds inside my room
Inside my heart, a soft pounce of eternity

Six petals deep she holds the dark inside
Opening just enough to remind
Of limited life, limited light, limited mind
And the useless barriers in the slip of time

Waking, I’m ready for the black night
To tell me the almighty truth, to just tell me
Because really, I see the game in the world given
Everyday keeping, everyday losing a bit of me

Everyday I write
Everyday I sleep
Everyday I love
Everyday I eat

The little drawer from the nightstand.

Pepe started drinking from my water glass about 2 years ago.  It was the funniest thing, because after 13 years of Pepe’s company, she spontaneously decided she’d help herself to my glass on the night stand.  Well, I tried covering it- that didn’t work- books, coasters, she’d push them out of the way, sometimes in doing so, the glass would fall- never broke, but there’d be collateral damage- wet books, wet sheets, wet papers.  I then gave in.  She had her glass, I had mine- covered.  I’d fill her glass fresh every day.  Now that she’s in her final time, and I’ve moved back to Paris House, we’re in old patterns and places- but the night stand is too tall for her delicate body to perch.  So I pull out the little cube drawer from the stand- just enough to fit her glass at her level.  It’s her spot. 

She’s fallen out of the bed a few times.  It makes me upset, and I wake up and pick her up and put her back on the bed.  She’s so fragile, still so beautiful, my little jet black girl of all girls.  I wish she wouldn’t sleep so close to the edge of the bed.  I also had to put on the red bed cover, the one with the beige flowers and stripes, because I noticed the white one was getting yellowy marks.  I then realized they were from Miss Pepe and her new old cat practice of peeing on the floor.  She pees in the hallway on the hardwood floor- on the way to the bathroom.  She rarely uses her box- as clean and as close as it is.  In doing so, she gets her bottom and feet yellowed by her business.  And the soft white cotton isn’t so white anymore.  I clean her with a washcloth, and brush her and kiss her.  She purrs more than she’s ever purred, each caress, each stroke, brings on the surge of loudest purrs.  The little Pep knows.  It’s close to time.

She pulled up to her spot to take a drink, decided not to and walked away.  A few minutes later she returned, and came to the glass in the drawer getting her chin unusually wet- this is another new thing- the very wet chin from submerging while drinking.  The past few days she’s stopped jumping on the radiator to get to the sink.  She knows.  I felt her underbelly on my hand as she drank from the drawer, and I started to well up with sadness, knowing.  I also know.

My dearest girl, my friend of 15 years, I’m so used to her little body always following me.  I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter girl.  I just want to remember the little moment of the drawer and her warm belly, shaved from the ultrasound, touching my left hand.  She reminds me of dad in his last days, where the effort put forth in a task became a meaningful task, of greatest importance- in an emergency sort of way that nothing else mattered, don’t stand in my way, I am weak, but I am determined, and don’t try to stop me from drinking my water.  I love her I love her I love her, as she sleeps, as she’s alive, as she will be departing, I love her I love her I love her.

Two weeks later, on March 14 at midnight, Pepe died in my arms.  There was a thunderstorm outside.  I stayed inside with her all day, holding her, loving her.  I was in denial the entire time, or maybe I went into survival mode by pretending all was ok, speaking positive to her all day so she would feel comfort and not my fear.  I put on my bravest fake face and feelings.  I went into a depression.  Went to France for a month.  I'll share that later, and how I found a purpose in my shadows.

Pepe in Shelter Island

I’m a decapitated lazy head that keeps talking and talking and nobody can shut me up.  I can be vain or modest but I am none of these things.  I have Visitor stamped on my forehead and I don’t know how they let me in here.  Perhaps I rolled in without anyone noticing.

One day I may have tubes placed inside me, as I lay restless, unmoving.  And I may be laying in my grey bed looking at my life, the use I had or didn’t have, thinking of my time before the flash, unfinished words, as tart as tangerines, laughter turned to tears, tears turned to deeper tears, drowning in sun filled bubbles, to the back seat of bus F, running away to abandoned houses and stealing the skeleton key, running in circles in my Donald Duck sneakers on such a severe angle that I thought they were magic keeping me from falling, sitting in the tiny wooden ring under the dining table where it was safe and only I could fit, being changed, being beat, being ordered, disconnecting from the world, smoking in my 8 x 8 pink room, thinking of the ranch, my tight face, Pepe, family alive and dead, close calls, pageants of secrets, my endurance, my reach.  Thinking of the afterlife and idiots I’d place my hand in a tomorrow I’d never see, wanting to protect the future children, wishing they could have a life as easy as mine, if I could smuggle to my grave the awful things they hadn’t yet learned, if I could spare them the hate, I’d be of use.  I’d wrap it up in a napkin and shove it in my purse when no one was looking and bury it with me.  Thinking of dad’s lost posture, reminding me of my own, the skeleton key would fall from my purse first.  My embarrassment would take me nowhere, knowing I could no longer curse when I have no hands.

Any Belgian cook will tell you the secret to French fries is to cook them twice.  Same with love.  If you break your nose, break it again, if you break your heart, break it again and you’ll realize your healing.  A reckless love is a valid love and worth every inch of the pain.  Double broil it, double deep fry it, double do it- it’s always better.  Don't be afraid to just feel it- and really feel it.